Oh I love shortbread. It's buttery, crumbly and very hard to refuse another piece. The Hubs and his Mammy are both big lovers so I decided I'd make a variation on the traditional recipe by adding coffee and chocolate. When I was in France last year, I bought a box of espresso sticks - powdered instant espresso which you can drink or use as an ingredient. Two little sticks gave enough oomph to turbo charge the shortbread from something nice into a special treat loaded with coffee and chocolate. Sure, what else could you possibly want?
By refrigerating the dough before you bake it, the butter sets and the finished shortbread is crumbly and short. It does really melt in your mouth.
225g Butter, very soft
200g Caster Sugar
225g Plain Flour
45g Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
4g Espresso Powder
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Line a square tin (10 x 10 inches) with baking parchment
Beat the butter and sugar together in a food mixer for 4-5 minutes until very light and fluffy.
Sift the flour, cocoa, salt & espresso powder into the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla extract and mix gently until well combined.
Press the dough into the lined tin, cover with a layer of cling film and smooth out the top with the base of a jug or a plastic container.
Put the tin into the fridge for at least an hour - longer is better, even up to a day. When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 180c/Gas Mark 4.
Remove the tin from the fridge, discard the film and using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 24 bars about 2 x 1 inch - that's 6 bars across by 4 bars down . Prick each bar with a fork and bake for 40 minutes.
You may have to re-mark the cooked shortbread when it comes out of the oven. Let the tin cool for 10 minutes before transferring the shortbread to a wire rack. Just lift the parchment out and leave the shortbread on the parchment -it's the easiest way.
This will keep in a sealed container for 10 days. I wish you luck with that...